Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Scifi and Fantasy Releases: Week of May 9th

Posted by Simcha 4:14 PM, under | 1 comment

Title: Much Fall of Blood
by Mercedes Lackey and Dave Freer
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: May 11
Description: Prince Manfred and his mentor and bodyguard, the deadly warrior Erik, survived dangers and enemies both natural and supernmatural, and if they thought that their new mission was going to be anything but more of the same, they soon gave up on that hope. Returning from Jerusalem, they and their escort of knights of the Holy Trinity are escorting an envoy of II Khan Mongol to the lands of the Golden Horde-between the Black Sea and the Carpathians, which happen to be eastern bastion against their old enemies, the demon Chernobog and his possessed puppet, the Jangellion.
Unfortunately, what began as a diplomatic mission leads to Manfred and his knights being caught up in an inter-clan civil war, rescuingh a fugitive woman and her injured brother, and becoming involved in the problems of Prince Vlad, Duke of Valahia, who has been held as a hostage by King Emeric og Hungary until freed by Countess Elizabeth Batholdy to use as bait to capture a gropu pf nonhumans. Instead, the wolflike nonhumans, who masquerade as gypsies, free Prince Vlad, and help him to return to his homeland to raise revolt against Hungary and to renew age-old magics.
Manfred and Erik are forced into an alliance of convenience between the Golden Horde and the ancient magical forces of Valahia, as directed by the troubled Vlad. The magic calls for blood and Vlad is deathly afraid of it-and at the same time, is irresistibly drawn toward it...

Title: Migration
by James Hogan
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: May 11
Description: The world of the past eventually died in the conflagration toward which it had been doggedly heading. A more fragmented and diversified order has emerged from the ruins and . technology has reappeared to a greater or lesser degree in some places and not at all in others.
Unique among them is the nation-state of Sofi, with an exceptional population that has rediscovered advanced science. However, as the old patterns that led to ruin before begin to reassert themselves across the rest of the world, a scientific-political movement within Sofi embarks on a years-long project to build a generation starship that will enable them to create their own world elsewhere.
The circumstances and thinking of future generations growing up in the totally unknown situation of a space environment cannot be known. Accordingly, the mission will include different groups of idealists, reformers, misfits, and dissidents who are not satisfied with the world-in-miniature that constitutes the original mother ship, to go out and build whatever they want. Hence, what arrives at the distant star generations hence will be a flotilla of variously run city states, frontier towns, religious monasteries, pleasure resorts, urban crushes, rural spreads, academic retreats, and who-knows what else.
The trouble began, of course, when all the old patterns that they thought they were getting away from started reappearing . . .

Title: Darkling Fields of Arvon
by James G. Anderson
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: May 11
Description: In the wake of the catastrophic invasion that has levelled the Stoneholding, the last bastion of order in the world of Ahn Norvys, Kalaquinn Wright Pursues the mission entrusted to him. Freshly invested as High Bard, sets forth across lands that lie under a dark cloud of uncertainty and strife, charged with the task of finding the lost Prince Starigan. This is but the first step in rekindling the Sacred Fire and restoring peace to a broken world.
The task, however, will not be an easy one, for the Talamadh, the golden harp that binds together heaven and earth in sacred harmony, remains in the clutches of the tyrant Ferabek. After securing safe haven for the remnant folk of his clanholding, Kal and his companions venture into the lowlands of Arvon, a palce of looming danger. Despite the adversities of a world sinking into the world sinking into the twilight of darkness and chaos, the young Holdsman keeps faith and its sustained by the loyalty of friends, the resources he begins to discover in himself, and unwavering hope. In his quest for the lost prince, moreover, Kal learns that royalty is to be founsd in unexpected quarters.
By fate's caprice, Kal falls prey to his enemies. In the trail that befalls him, his mettle is tested, and he draws upon an inner strength that he has never known before. He also discovers that the Talamadh, with which Ardiel, once High King of Arvon, inaugurated the Great Harmony, though weak falerting, still retains a vestige of its ancient potency. But will it be enough to stem the tide of chaos that floods over darkling fields of Arvon?

Title: The Legions of Fire
by David Drake
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: May 11
Description: From the Bestselling author of theLord of the Isles. . .

In this novel of magical menace to the survival of all humanity, David Drake introduces a new fantasy world, Carce, based on Europe during the later Roman Empire.

Far in the north, a group of magicians perform a strange dance on a volcanic island intended to open a gateway for supernatural creatures that will allow them to devastate the whole Earth and destroy all life. Not knowing the cause, two young men, Corylus and Varus, and two women, Hedia and Alphena, each separately pursue the answer to mysterious and threatening happenings that prefigure disaster in the great city of Carce, the center of civilization. Through magical voyages in other realities where fantastic creatures, and even gods, help or hinder them, each of them must succeed or not just the city but the world will end in fire.

The Legions of Fire is the first of a fantasy quartet set in the world of the city of Carce.

Title: Five Odd Honors (Breaking the Wall series)
by Jane Lindskold
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: May 11
Description: The Thirteen Orphans and their allies have opened the ninth gate into the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice . . . and discover that the Lands have been altered almost beyond recognition, transformed by magic into an apparently uninhabited world where land shifts beneath one’s feet and fire burns blue. Investigating, the Orphans learn that the Center of the world is sealed behind nearly-impassable barriers composed of each of the five elements of Chinese myth. Combining ancient and modern magics, a scouting party penetrates the barriers, only to be captured and given over to tortures designed to separate the Orphans from their magical abilities.

On Earth, Pearl Bright, the Tiger, is attacked—is this treachery by our world’s magical traditions or has one of the Orphans betrayed her? Brenda Morris learns of the Orphans’ dangers when it is nearly too late—but along with the sidhe, who are drawn to her Irish heritage, Brenda risks her life to help rescue those trapped in the Lands.

A story of betrayal and redemption, of bravery in the face of terror, and of loyalty and hatred that reach beyond the grave, Five Odd Honors continues Jane Lindskold’s stunning Breaking the Wall series.

Title: The Unincorporated War
by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: May 11
Description: T
he Kollin brothers introduced their future world, and central character Justin Cord, inThe Unincorporated Man. Justin created a revolution in that book, and is now exiled from Earth to the outer planets, where he is an heroic figure.

The corporate society which is headquartered on Earth and rules Venus, Mars, and the Orbital colonies, wants to destroy Justin and reclaim hegemony over the rebellious outer planets. The first interplanetary civil war begins as the military fleet of Earth attacks. Filled with battles, betrayals, and triumphs, The Unincorporated War is a full-scale space opera that catapults the focus of the earlier novel up and out into the solar system. Justin remains both a logical and passionate fighter for the principles that motivate him, and remains the most dangerous man alive.

Title: Stealing Fire
by Jo Graham
Genre: Alternate History
Publisher: Orbit US
Release Date: May 11
Description: Alexander the Great’s soldier, Lydias of Miletus, has survived the final campaigns of the king’s life. He now has to deal with the chaos surrounding his death. Lydias throws his lot in with Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s generals who has grabbed Egypt as his personal territory. Aided by the eunuch Bagoas, the Persian archer Artashir, and the Athenian courtesan Thais, Ptolemy and Lydias must take on all the contenders in a desperate adventure whose prize is the fate of a white city by the sea, and Alexander’s legacy.

Title: The Ambassador’s Mission
by Trudy Canavan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit US
Release Date: May 11
Description: Sonea, once the despised commoner in the Magicians’ Guild, is now a Black Magician of Kyralia. Though she is now part of the establishment, she comes to find that the past is not so easily left behind…
Lorkin, Sonea’s rebellious son, has volunteered to join the formidable Lord Dannyl in his new post as Guild Ambassador to Sachaka – a land ruled by cruel, slave-owning black magicians. There is suspicion that some of the Sachakans still harbor dreams of conquest, so when word comes that Lorkin has gone missing, Sonea is desperate to find him. However, Guild law states that if a Black Magician leaves the city he or she will be exiled forever.
As she fears for her missing son, Sonea dedicates herself to helping her old friend Cery. For some time, there has been fear and paranoia on the streets of Imardin. Leading thieves have been dying under irregular circumstances. The need to discover who has been picking off the leading thieves of the city is now a very personal crusade – one that Sonea must aid, for the killer appears to be using magic.
Either a member of the Guild is leading a double life as a hired killer, or there is – once again – a rogue magician on the streets of Imardin . . .

Title: Lord of the Changing Winds
by Rachel Neumeier
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit US
Release Date: May 10
Description: Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes.
Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path — or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human . . . or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.

Title: The Bone Conjurer (Rogue Angel)
by Alex Archer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gold Eagle
Release Date: May 11
Description: From the ashes of an ancient holy order comes an unholy relic…
In the time of the Crusades, the Knights Templars were holy warriors who seemed to be blessed by God himself. But over the years, the order dissolved into mysteries both sacred and profane—creating an object whose power bends to the true nature of its owner….
But until she held it in her hands, archaeologist Annja Creed hadn't heard of the Skull of Sidon nor the twisted tale of its origins. Even now, she's still not convinced. Yet someone wants it badly enough to hire a man who wields power beyond her imagining. Power enough to prevent Annja from protecting the mysterious skull. And power enough to kill.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Quotes

Posted by Simcha 12:37 PM, under | 3 comments

The Girl with the Glass Feet (Ali Shaw)

You didn't have to have years under your belt; you had to have unlived ones, yet to be stored.

When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead)

  • "You're lucky," he tells me. "Keys are power. Some of us have to come knocking."

  • If I'm afraid of someone on the street, I'll turn to him (it's always a boy) and say, "Excuse me, do you happen to know what time is is?" This is my way of saying to the person "I see you as a friend, and there is no need to hurt me or take my stuff. Also, I don't even have a watch and I'm probably not worth mugging."

Blake Charlton (interview at Fantasy Literature)

The beginning of a second book is a difficult point for a new novelist. You have your whole life to write your first novel; for your second, you have a year.

The Blog Hop

Posted by Simcha 6:52 AM, under | 3 comments

It's Friday again, and that means it's time to do some blog hopping. Over the past few weeks I've discovered many new blogs through this fun blog event, and you can participate too by visiting Crazy for Books.

For those unfamiliar with the Blog Hop, here is a description, from
Crazy for Books
In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! So, I created this weekly BOOK PARTY where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

If you start following someone through the Hop, leave a comment on their blog to let them know! Stop back during the week to see other blogs that are added! And, most importantly, the idea is to HAVE FUN!!

On your blog hop post, tell us about some of the other great blogs you've found while Hopping around!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

If you read The Warded Man...

Posted by Simcha 8:23 AM, under | 2 comments

If you have read, or are currently reading, Peter Brett's The Warded Man (or The Painted Man) then join me on Goodreads where I'm leading several different discussions of this book. Peter Brett will also be around to answer any questions you might have for him.

See you there!

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Posted by Simcha 8:02 AM, under | 4 comments

I probably would have never given When You Reach Me a chance if it hadn’t been highly recommended by Ann and Michael at Books on the Nightstand. Since their book suggestions have rarely failed me, I decided to give this book a try as well, despite its slim size, large printed font and twelve year old protagonist, features which are rarely present in the books I normally read. But I'm certainly glad that I reserved my judgment in this case because When You Reach Me turned out to be a wonderfully charming book that I highly enjoyed.

It’s 1979 in Upper West Side, New York, and twelve year old Miranda has begun receiving strange notes, mysteriously left for her in private locations, and telling her of events that have not yet come to pass. Understandably shaken by these messages, Miranda attempts to figure out who they could be coming from, but as each event occurs as predicted, there are no answers that make sense.

Perhaps Miranda could have asked her best friend, Sal for advice, except that for some reason he no longer wants to be friends with her, even though they have been together since nursery. Plus the notes request complete secrecy.
… I know you have shared my first note.
I ask you not to share the others. Please.
I do not ask this for myself.
There have been some other strange events lately, such as the missing house key and the sudden appearance of the crazy guy across the street. At school Miranda is forced to seek out some new friends, since Sal has abandoned her, and together they embark on new experiences and adventures. The one steady thing in Miranda’s life is her beloved copy of A Wrinkle in Time, now battered and worn from frequent use.
Mr. Tompkins has left a book on my desk. He was always trying to get me to read something new. This one has a picture of a spunky-looking girl on the cover, and some buildings behind her. I pushed the spunky girl aside, pulled my book out of my desk, and opened it randomly to see where I would land.
As the notes continue to arrive, warning of an approaching disaster, Miranda becomes afraid that one of her friends might be in real danger. But the only thing she can do is follow the instructions given to her, and write down her story as it had occurred.

When You Reach Me is a wonderful gem of a book that had me so captivated from the very first page, that I read the whole thing in one sitting. Miranda’s character is engaging, funny and intelligent, and will appeal to readers of any age. I don’t read much young adult fiction because the protagonists are often too young and immature to keep my interest or they seem unnaturally sophisticated for the age they are meant to be, but Stead manages to create the perfect balance in Miranda.
“Nice tights,” I snorted. Or I tried to snort, anyway. I’m not exactly sure how, though people in books are always doing it.
If I'm afraid of someone on the street, I'll turn to him (it's always a boy) and say, "Excuse me, do you happen to know what time it is?" This is my way of saying to the person "I see you as a friend, and there is no need to hurt me or take my stuff. Also, I don't even have a watch and I'm probably not worth mugging."
The other characters in the story were equally intriguing, from Miranda’s hard working single mother and her almost-perfect boyfriend (almost-because one of his legs is shorter than the other) to the strange, dreamy boy that Miranda keeps running into and the wealthy nemesis who wears diamond rings to school. I was impressed at how well developed each of these side characters were, considering that there were quite a few of them and the book itself is not that long.

While the story was largely grounded in reality, focusing on some of the struggles that any child Miranda’s age might find themselves dealing with, there is also a whimsical dash of the fantastic, which I had not expected (largely because I had not read the back cover). While there were hints that something otherworldly might be going on, I really had no idea of where the story was headed and was delighted with the way events played out in the end.

I ended up pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoying When You Reach Me, as I did have my doubts going in. But I now look forward to many re-reads of this delightful novel and I will be recommending it often to others as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hell Fire (Corine Solomon, Bk 2) by Ann Aguirre

Posted by Simcha 6:37 PM, under | 3 comments

The conclusion of Blue Diablo saw Chance’s mother alive and safe, thanks to Corine’s assistance, which means that it’s now time for Chance to fulfill his side of the bargain by helping Corine track down her mother’s killers. And that means returning to the scene of the crime.

It’s been nine years since Corine last set foot in Kilmer, Georgia and if not for the mystery of her mother’s death, she would have been happy to have stayed away permanently. The town’s menacing atmosphere has only intensified over time, a constant reminder of the tragedy that had befallen Corine here. The woods that had once sheltered Corine, while she had watched her house burn to the ground, now pulse with a dark presence that seems to watch Corine and Chance as they drive into town.

As Corine begins questioning the townspeople, it soon becomes clear that her mother’s death is not the only dark secret in Kilmer. Over the past few years both people and pets have begun mysteriously disappearing, and strangely enough, no investigation is ever launched to find the missing individuals. As Corine and Chance begin unraveling the mystery, they discover that someone is strongly opposed to their presence in town and this person is willing to kill in order to keep their secrets buried.

Blue Diablo had really impressed me with its creative magical elements integrated into a real-world setting that also provided readers with a taste of Mexican culture. I was also quickly charmed by the down-to-earth protagonist and her tough but vulnerable ex-boyfriend, and I enjoyed the romantic vibe between them. Unfortunately, most of these components that made Blue Diablo such an enjoyable urban fantasy were missing in Hell Fire, leaving me less then impressed with this sequel.

I’m not a fan of spooky stories involving ghosts, haunted houses and blood dripping from walls, but that is exactly the kind of tale that Hell Fire provides. The whole story takes place in a small Southern town of creepy townspeople, surrounded by an eerie forest and rife with supernatural activity. This book was more like an episode of The Twilight Zone than than the fun urban fantasy I had expected, and astonishingly different from its predecessor, which I had so much enjoyed. Hell Fire also jumps into this grim atmosphere from the very beginning, without first giving readers any light scenes or glimpse of the outside world, which I thought added to the heavy atmosphere and unearthly feel of the book.

In addition to the book’s main storyline, there is also Corine’s own relationship issues, which offer the only real relief from the dark mood of the narration. At the very start, Corine clarifies that her relationship with Chance is uncertain because of his personal issues, particularly his difficulty in sharing himself with others.
And then this same point is repeated over, and over again throughout the story, because apparently Aguirre was afraid readers would forget if she didn’t keep reminding us. We are also repeatedly told about
Chance’s new found vulnerability, due to being abandoned by Corine, and I felt like I spent the whole book being hit over the head by these two bits of information until I wanted to throw the book across the room and yell at it ‘Enough already, I get it!’

Just a few examples:

On page 12…
The man made a game out of leaving different names anywhere we stayed. People who knew him understood they’d never get more out of him regarding his true name than “Chance.” I never had either. I didn’t want to mind, but deep down I did. It had taken me this long for me to admit it, but I’d had enough of Chance’s secrets
On page 30…
Chance was like an iceberg, only it’s tip showing above the water; sure it was beautiful and bright but you never knew what lurked beneath the surface. He’d never made any attempt to share with me, even though he wanted me laid open for him like a watermelon at a Fourth of July picnic.
And again on page 142..
…It was more perceptive then I’d come to expect from Chance. He didn’t used to deal well in emotional coin; he preferred to show his feelings in material things…At first, I found that charming, but eventually I started wanting him to apologize and tell me how he felt…And he didn’t want to tell me anything at all.
I definitely think that this story could have used more showing and less telling.

The introduction of a love triangle to the story complicated Corine and Chance’s relationship even further, as a love interest of Corine’s, from the past, makes an appearance. At this point I got really fed up with Corine and her constant dithering about who she should be with, and her tendency to make out with whichever guy happens to be with her at the time. Just because she is standing next to an attractive man does not mean she needs to get physical with him, particularly when the second guy is right in the other room. Making out with the second guy in the next scene does not make up for it either. I lost a lot of respect for Corine’s character because of this behavior and I soon became disinterested in the romantic storyline in general.

Hell Fire
did not turn out to be the kind of book I had been expecting and I didn’t
enjoy it half as much as I did Blue Diablo. By the end of the book I had grown irritated with most of the characters and I didn’t really care who Corine ended up choosing. The story felt stale and unoriginal, and the resolution was not much of a surprise. For those who do enjoy such stories, of ghosts and creepy small towns, perhaps you would like this book more that I, but at least be aware of what you are getting into.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Guest Post: Tom and Nimue from Copper Age Web Comic

Posted by Simcha 1:02 PM, under | 4 comments

I'm excited to present you today with a guest post by Tom and Nimue Brown, the creative duo behind the Copper Age web comic and the Hopeless Vendetta. If you are not familiar with Tom's art, then you are in for a real treat. And if you enjoy what you see, make sure to visit their website for more of the Copper Age tale.


Origins of Copper Age
Tom and Nimue Brown

Created by Copper Age, the webcomic is a graphic novel, appearing week by week. When the first story arc – Personal Demons - is complete, we’ll hopefully get it onto paper, but in the meantime it’s good to be able to share the work with readers.

Set on the island of Hopeless off the coast of Maine, Personal Demons has a dark setting, with some Lovecraftian influence. The story revolves around Salamandra, a young girl discovered in a Gothic, decaying house by a witch. Unraveling who Salamandra is and where she comes from is key to the entire story arc, so no spoilers!

This tale was actually written as the first of several prequels for a much longer story featuring Salamandra as an adult. Tom began this section of the tale on his own before
Nimue started working with him, but it’s changed a fair bit since then, both in terms of the story, and the art – both of which have become more complex and detailed along the way.

Copper Age is the third artist who emerges and is only possible when Tom and Nimue Brown are working together.

We have different ideas about when Copper Age started however, for reasons that should soon become apparent!

From Tom’s perspective, Copper Age as it is now, started when Nimue became involved.

Tom: While working on my own it was something, and sort of interesting, I could see some potential but it was only when the third artist started to appear, which was not really a conscious effort on anyone’s part, that I began to see what Copper Age was and could be.

Now for me, Copper Age was a thing in its own right that Tom had created and I fell in love with. As I see it, it was all there just waiting to be let loose. It took me quite a while to pluck up the nerve to get involved. At first I really didn’t think I was a good enough writer.

When we collaborate, things happen that don’t occur for us the rest of the time. Over the last year, we’ve moved more towards working together in the rest of our lives. So even if we aren’t on the same project, we’re connecting and sharing ideas and influencing each other in all sorts of interesting ways.

Copper Age involves the concept of telling stories and sharing ideas in multimedia ways. Art and words are the primary mix at the moment, but we’re also interested in music, spoken word, film, animation and anything else we become able to play with. It’s gothic, sensual, and even with the paranormal fantasy elements, very human. We’re reflecting aspects of life, in odd and distorted ways, and striving after a vision of what the world could be, although I don’t think we’ve found it yet.

At the moment, the primary focus is the webcomic, although we also have a newspaper for the setting – which is a space we use to play and experiment. There are some more book-like things (we’re talking to publishers) and plans for all sorts of other creativity in various forms. We spend a fair amount of time chasing ideas and daydreaming about possible projects, never knowing which ones will reach fruition, but that’s all part of the fun.

People who are interested in keeping track of us are very welcome to sign up to the newsletter – which we send out sporadically through a yahoo group.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Scifi and Fantasy releases: Week of May 2nd

Posted by Simcha 11:27 AM, under | 5 comments

This week there are some new releases that I'm particularly excited about, including Charlaine Harris's Dead in the Family (please, please let it be better than the last one) and Leanna Renee Hieber's The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker. There is also a new urban fantasy that looks like it could be a fun read, The Wish List by Gabi Stevens, and a new title by C. J. Cherryh which reminds me that I really need to try some of this author's books already. And if you enjoy the recently popular quirky revisions of the classics, then Little Women and Werewolves, by Porter Grand, might be a book that you would enjoy.

I actually have a whole stack of books that I still need to get through, before I will have the opportunity to sample any of these, but I'd be interested in hearing from you about which of these books you plan on reading.

Hope you have a great reading week!

Title: Magic on the Storm (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 4)
by Devon Monk
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 4
Description: Allison Beckstrom is committed to her work tracing illegal spells. Now, there's an apocalyptic storm bearing down on Portland, and when it hits, all the magic in the area will turn unstable and destructive. To stop it from taking out the entire city, Allie and her lover, the mysterious Zayvion Jones, must work with the Authority-the enigmatic arbiters of all things magic-and take a stand against a magical wildstorm that will obliterate all in its path...

Title: Darkborn
by Alison Sinclair
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: May 4
Description: For the Darkborn, sunlight kills. For the Lightborn, darkness is fatal. Living under a centuries-old curse, the Darkborn and the Lightborn share the city of Minhorne, coexisting in an uneasy equilibrium but never interacting-until a Darkborn physician finds a pregnant fugitive on his doorstep...

Title: Dead in the Family
by Charlaine Harris
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: ACE
Release Date: May 4
Description: After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...

Title: A Taint in the Blood (A Novel of the Shadowspawn)
by S. M. Stirling
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC
Release Date: May 4
Description: First in the new Shadowspan series from the New York Times bestselling "master of speculative fiction" (Library Journal).

Eons ago, Homo Lupens ruled the earth. Possessing extraordinary powers, they were the source of all of the myths and legends of the uncanny. And though their numbers have been greatly reduced, they exist still- though not as purebreds.

Adrian Breze is one such being. Wealthy and reclusive, he is more Shadowspawn than human. But he rebelled against his own kind, choosing to live as an ordinary man. Now, to save humanity, he must battle the dark forces of the world-including those in his own blood...

Title: The Dragon and the Stars
by Derwin Mak, Eric Choi, Tess Gerritsen
Genre: science fiction anthology
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: March 4
Description: An all-new anthology of Chinese culture-inspired science fiction

This unique collection of science fiction tales demonstrates the diversity of the Chinese experience around the world, merging China's rich heritage with new traditions, offering North American readers an opportunity to discover these exciting writers.

Title: Ark
by Stephen Baxter
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: March 4
Description: With the discovery of another life-sustaining planet light years away, there is hope for a chosen few to leave the soon-to-be submerged Earth. Holle Groundwater is one of the candidates, having been trained for this purpose since childhood, when the ships Ark One and Ark Three were being built. But as Holle prepares to endure life aboard the Ark, she comes to realize that her attempt at escape may be more dangerous than trying to stay afloat on a drowning planet...

Title:A Legacy of Daemons
by Camille Bacon-Smith
Release Date: May 4
Description: Third in the paranormal detective series

Evan Davis and his partners, Brad and Lily, attract the jobs no other detective can handle-cases with a dangerous, otherworldly slant. But no one is better equipped for this because Lily and Brad are powerful daemon lords, and Evan is Brad's half-daemon son. Now, however, the trio face a real challenge---involving armies of daemons, and wealthy mortals who have delved far too deeply into the dark arts...

Title: Deceiver (Foreigner #11)
by C. J. Cherryh
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: May 4
Description: "One of the best long-running SF series in existence" (Publishers Weekly) continues with the second novel in a brand-new Foreigner sequence.

The civil war among the alien Atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajeiri, his son and heir, has returned to the Bujavid, his seat of power. But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over.

Title: Well of Sorrows
by Benjamin Tate
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: May 4
Description: An epic tale of a continent on the brink of war, and a deadly magic that waits to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Colin Harten and his parents had fled across the ocean to escape the Family wars in Andover. But trouble followed them and their fellow refugees to this new land, forcing them to abandon the settled areas and head into unexplored territory-the sacred grounds of a race of underground dwellers and warriors. It was here that they would meet their doom. Driven to the borders of a dark forest, they were attacked by mysterious Shadow creatures who fed on life force. Only Colin survived to find his way to the Well of Sorrows-and to a destiny that might prove the last hope for peace in this troubled land.

Title: Love in the Time of Dragons: A Novel of the Light Dragons
by Katie MacAlister
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: May 4
Description: When it comes to love, one woman is scaling back her expectations...

Tully Sullivan is just like any other suburban mom-except she's just woken up in a strange place surrounded by strange people who keep insisting that they're dragons-and that she's one too.

Title: Vampire Mistress
by Joey W. Hill
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: May 4
Description: The fifth book in the sensational series of "sizzling paranormal erotica." (Fresh Fiction)

Joey W. Hill returns to the dark and seductive landscape of her Vampire Queen novels as a desperate woman named Anwyn finds herself trapped between the desires of two men, each with his own mission of the night: vampire hunter Gideon Green and vampire Daegan Rei. But when Anwyn is attacked by a rogue bloodsucker, Gideon and Daegan must become allies in order to save the woman they both love.

Title: White Cat (Curse Workers, Bk 1)
by Holly Black
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: May 4
Description: Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

Title: Running Scared
by Shannon K. Butcher
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Onyx
Release Date: May 4
Description: The thrilling third novel in Shannon K. Butcher's new urban fantasy series...

Lexi Johns has one purpose: to free her best friend from the hands of the Sentinels. And the Sentinel she has been running from for months, Zach, has one goal: to convince her that their destinies are entwined. For the magic that Zach has absorbed could destroy him if he doesn't find the woman to channel it for him. And he knows Lexi is the one...

Title: Shadow Marked: A Demon Bound Novel
by Anna Evans
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: NAL Trade
Release Date: May 4
Description: Samantha Quinn has been in the dark since age six, when her parents sacrificed her sight in a Satanic ritual. She is trying to get over her demonic past, but horrific lifelike visions haunt her. Her intuition gets stronger and clearer after a wild, adrenaline-fueled sexual encounter with Jace, her brother's childhood friend. And now Samantha is more tormented than ever by what she can "see"-and by what she felt in that forbidden encounter...

Samantha must now prevent the deaths she sees in her premonitions and protect her body from the same demon from her twisted childhood. Her dark curse reveals that Jace will be the next victim, and it is crystal clear that she must destroy the demon to protect her love.

Title: Little Women and Werewolves
by Porter Grand
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: May 4
Description: A literary landmark—the original, suppressed draft of the classic novel!

Little Women is a timeless classic. But Louisa May Alcott’s first draft—before her editor sunk his teeth into it—was even better. Now the original text has at last been exhumed. In this uncensored version, the March girls learn some biting lessons, transforming from wild girls into little women—just as their friends and neighbors transform into vicious, bloodthirsty werewolves!

Here are tomboy Jo, quiet Beth, ladylike Amy, and good-hearted Meg, plus lovable neighbor Laurie Laurence, now doomed to prowl the night on all fours, maiming and devouring the locals. As the Civil War rages, the girls learn the value of being kind, the merits of patience and grace, and the benefits of knowing a werewolf who can disembowel your teacher.

By turns heartwarming and blood-curdling, this rejuvenated classic will be cherished and treasured by those who love a lesson in virtue almost as much as they enjoy a good old-fashioned dismemberment.

Includes the original letter from Alcott’s editor, telling her not to even think about it!

Hunted by the OthersTitle: Hunted by the Others
by Jess Haines
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: May 4
Description: They are the Others--the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they're stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again. . .
In A Town Like This, Being A P.I. Can Be Murder
Shiarra Waynest's detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm--if it doesn't kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York's most powerful vampires.
As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend--a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing--and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren't always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil--whether she likes it or not. . .

SpellsTitle: Spells
by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 4
Description: Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.
When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

ShadeTitle: Shade
by Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 4
Description: Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

The Demon in MeTitle: The Demon In Me (A Living in Eden Novel)
by Michelle Rowen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 4
Description: After her hunky police detective partner guns down a serial killer in front of her, "psychic consultant" Eden Riley realizes that she's no longer alone. A voice in her head introduces himself as Darrak. He's a demon. But not in a bad way. He was cursed 300 years ago and he wants to find a way to break free. Eden's psychic energy helps him take form during daylight, and she's going to have to learn to live with this sexy it or not.

Title: Hard Magic
by Laura Anne Gilman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Luna
Release Date: May 1
Description: Welcome to P.U.P.I.—Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations
A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can't touch—crimes of magic.
My name's Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn't applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work—so off I went.
Two days later I'm a PUPI—me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.
The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We're sniffing out things they'd rather keep buried.

Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we're making it up as we go along….

Title: Picture the Dead
by Adele Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1
Description: A ghost will find his way home.

Jennie Lovell's life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiancé falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone. Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to let her bury the past.

When Jennie forms an unlikely alliance with a spirit photographer, she begins to uncover secrets about the man she thought she loved. With her sanity on edge and her life in the balance, can Jennie expose the chilling truth before someone-or something-stops her?

Against the brutal, vivid backdrop of the American Civil War, Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown have created a spellbinding mystery where the living cannot always be trusted and death is not always the end.

Title: The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker
by Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre: Romantic Fantasy/Fantasy
Publisher: Leisure Books
Release Date: May 1
Description: With radiant, snow-white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun.

Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams—or nightmares—might come.

Title: Puppet Master
by Joanne Owen
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Release Date: May 1
Description: From riches to rags, Milena is growing up in the city of Prague at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents' once prosperous theater lies in disrepair, and her life seems to be in ruins since the fateful night her father died in a tragic accident and her beautiful, talented mother went missing. Milena has never lost hope that her mother will come back.

The day she meets the flamboyant Puppet Master and his menacing twin protégés, Zdenko and Zdenka, under the shadow of Prague's famous Astronomical Clock in the Old Town square, is, coincidentally, the date of her mother's birthday. It's also the day Milena's grandmother chooses to reveal to her the story of her ancestors—and of her legacy. Perhaps it's not such a coincidence?

Joanne Owen's debut novel, long-listed for the Carnegie Medal, skillfully mingles the legends of Bohemia in a story rich in the traditions of circus, theater, and magic, all set in a city waiting to lay bare a myriad of secrets.

Title: The Hypnotist (The Reincarnationist, Book 3)
by MJ Rose
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: May 1
Description: An FBI agent, tormented by a death he wasn't able to prevent, a crime he's never been able to solve and a love he's never forgotten, discovers that his true conflict resides not in his past, but in a…Past Life.
Haunted by a twenty-year old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a Special Agent with the FBI's Art Crime Team. Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation—dedicated to the science of past life study—where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotist.
Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to 19th century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history: the theft of a 1,500 year old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Title: The Wish List
by Gabi Stevens
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: May 1
Description: Kristin Montgomery is more than a little shocked when her aunts inform her they’re fairy godmothers. Worse, after dropping that bombshell they hand her a wand and head off on a world cruise. Now Kristin’s uncomplicated life as a CPA in San Diego has disappeared like magic and she not only has to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant—and distractingly sexy—magical arbiter.

Tennyson Ritter is a historian. A scholar by choice, he is yanked from his studies to act as arbiter for the newly chosen fairy godmother. He doesn’t want to waste his time with a woman who doesn’t know anything about magic or the magical world, but soon the beguiling Kristin draws him away from his books and into her life.

But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world – both magical and human – against those that would claim her powers for their own.

Title: Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires, Book 8)
by Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: May 1
Description: Vampire musician Michael Glass has attracted the attention of a big- time producer who wants to cut a demo and play some gigs-which means Michael will have to enter the human world. For this, he's been assigned escorts that include both a dangerous immortal as well as Michael's all-too-human friends. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a road trip from hell...

Title: Grand Central Arena
by Ryk E. Spoor
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: May
Description: It was supposed to be a simple test flight, one that pilot Ariane Austin was on only as a last-ditch backup; intelligent, superhumanly fast automation would handle the test activation and flight of humanity's first faster-than-light vessel. But when the Sandrisson Drive activated, every automated system crashed, the nuclear reactor itself shut down, and only the reflexes and training of a racing pilot saved the test vessel Holy Grail from crashing into the impossible wall that had appeared before them, a wall which is just part of a monstrous enclosure surrounding a space twenty thousand kilometers across. With all artificial intelligences inert and their reactor dead, they had to find some other source of power to reactivate the Sandrisson Drive and—hopefully—take them home.
And that was only the beginning. As Ariane, Dr. Simon Sandrisson, darkly enigmatic power engineer Marc C. DuQuesne, and the rest of the Holy Grail's crew explore the immense artifact, they discover that they are not alone; they have entered a place the alien inhabitants call “The Arena,” and there is no way out without joining one of the alien factions . . . or winning recognition as a faction in their own right, playing by the Arena's rules ? and by the Arena's rules, one failed challenge could mean death or worse ? perhaps for the entire human race.
Surrounded by alien factions, each with its own secret plans and motivations, some wielding powers so strange as to be magical, Ariane sets out to beat the Arena at its own game. With DuQuesne's strategies, Sandrisson's genius, and her own unyielding determination, she's going to bring the Holy Grail home ? even if she has to beat every faction in the Arena to do it!


Book Reviews

Blog Archive

Blog Archive